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OFFICIAL NEWS RELEASE

 
 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
John R. Hagerty (609) 984-1936
Lt. Al Della Fave, (609) 882-2000 x6514

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 30, 2003


 
 
Press Release

ATTORNEY GENERAL'S SHOOTING RESPONSE TEAM INVESTIGATES WARREN COUNTY SHOOTING

Washington Township Police Officer Wounded... Critical Condition...

    WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, WARREN COUNTY- The Attorney General's Shooting Response Team is conducting an investigation involving the early morning shooting (Fri., May 30) and critically wounding of a 16-year veteran of the Washington Township Police Department located in rural Warren County, New Jersey.

     According to Captain Joseph R. Fuentes, Acting Superintendent, New Jersey State Police, Warren County Prosecutor John Lakey, and Chief James J. McDonald, Washington Township Police Department, Washington Township police officer John E. Schramm, 41, was critically wounded, suffering gunshot wounds to the face, neck and arm. Officer Schramm is listed in critical condition at St. Luke’s Hospital, Bethlehem, PA. Officer Schramm is a 16-year veteran of the Washington Township Police Department. He is married and the father of five children.

     The suspect involved in the shooting of Officer Schramm was shot and killed by responding state troopers from the Washington State Police Station. A positive identification of the shooting suspect remains pending. The preliminary investigation has determined the suspect to be a 22 year-old white male believed to be a resident of Lebanon Township, Warren County.

     The preliminary investigation determined that the incident began at approximately 2:49 a.m. when the Warren County Communications Center began receiving 9-1-1 reports of gunshots being fired from a moving vehicle in the areas of Willow Grove Road, Stewartsville Road, and Mountainview Road. Washington Township police officers and state troopers from the Washington State Police Station responded to the reports of gunshots. Responding state troopers located a suspect vehicle on Mountainview Road and County Route 643, Franklin Township, at 3:09 a.m. Washington Township police officers arrived on the scene simultaneously.

     Trooper Mark Moyna, Trooper Rich Wambold, and Officer Schramm approached the suspect vehicle, identified as a 1993 Honda Civic, to make an arrest. The suspect resisted arrest and a struggle ensued. During the struggle, the driver pulled a concealed weapon from his person and fired several shots which struck Officer Schramm. State Police returned fire. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene at 6:34 a.m. by Dr. Isadore Mihalakis, Warren County Medical Examiner. An autopsy will be performed by the Regional Medical Examiner's Office in Newark later today.

     Additionally, the preliminary investigation has located evidence related to the random gunshots, including numerous spent shell casings found along at least seven separate Warren County roadways, including Edison Road, Willow Grove Road and Stewartsville Road. Additionally, one projectile (bullet) was found inside an unoccupied residence on Stewartsville Road. There are no reports of injuries to any area residents.

     A passenger in the vehicle, identified as Damon S. Mammaro, 23, Asbury-Broadway Road, Asbury, Warren County, was taken into custody. No charges have been filed at this time pending further investigation.

     Trooper Moyna, 40, assigned to the Troop B - Washington State Police Station, graduated from the 107th State Police training class in 1987. Trooper Wambold, 38, assigned to the Troop B - Washington State Police Station, graduated the 113th State Police training class in 1993.

     The continuing investigation is being coordinated by the Attorney General's Shooting Response Team which includes detectives from the New Jersey State Police Major Crime Unit and Deputy Attorneys' General and state investigators from the Division of Criminal Justice. The Warren County Prosecutor's Office and the Washington Township Police Department are assisting the investigation.

     Under an Attorney General Directive, whenever a state trooper is involved in a shooting, the Attorney General's Shooting Response Team, made up of Deputy Attorneys' General and state investigators from the Division of Criminal Justice and detectives from the New Jersey State Police Major Crime Unit, are dispatched to the scene to conduct the investigation.

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